A joint investigation team (JIT) between the Dutch and German authorities has taken down an organised crime group specialised in explosive attacks against Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs). A total of 9 suspects have been taken into custody as a result of this 18-month investigation coordinated by Europol and Eurojust.
The criminals were producing step-by-step tutorials on how to blow up cash machines, and have been linked to at least 15 ATM attacks in Germany. The cash machines were blown open using homemade explosive devices, posing a serious risk for residents and bystanders. During one of the test runs of an explosion, one of the suspects died, with the other suspect getting seriously injured.
The investigation was initiated in February 2020 after authorities in Osnabrück, Germany, identified suspicious orders of ATMs machines from a German company. Special surveillance measures were put in place, which led the investigators to Utrecht, the Netherlands, where a 29 year-old individual and his 24 year-old accomplice were running an illegal training centre for ATM attacks. There, the pair was ordering different models of ATMs and recording tutorials on how to most effectively blow them up.